A Guide to Having a Successful Sober October  

Are you curious about going sober this October? There are so many benefits from taking a break from alcohol.  When you take a break from alcohol, you will notice improved appearance, better sleep, more energy and you will save more money. With Christmas around the corner, you can always save the money you were planning to spend on drinks on gifts for your loved ones instead.  

However, even though all these benefits sound great, you may feel like you are going to struggle with Sober October. Let’s learn what you can expect when you take a break from alcohol.  

Understand the effects alcohol can have 

Alcohol is a depressant, so whether you struggle with depression or not, alcohol can make feelings of depression worse and can cause depression. It can also increase feelings of anxiety. Alcohol is an anxiolytic which means that it can temporally supress feelings of anxiety but once the alcohol begins to wear off, it can heighten feelings of anxiety significantly.  So, taking a break from alcohol will slowly help reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. You can find out more about how alcohol effects your mental health

Learn why you drink and your triggers

Do you feel you need alcohol to have fun or relax in social situations? Do you find yourself wanting a drink after a day of work to help unwind? Understanding why you drink and your triggers will help you build healthier coping skills and habits. For example, instead of having a drink after work, you could do a 30-minute homework out, read a new book, call a friend or go for a walk. Talking about your stressors with loved ones will make you feel better. Exercising, even if it walking for a short time will help you unwind and relax.

Continue your success 

Breaks from alcohol can help you make long lasting changes. Not only will you see improvement in your short term health but you will help your long-term health as well. Alcohol is linked to seven different cancers. Cutting down or out alcohol can help minimise your risk in developing an alcohol related cancer.  

To help reduce your risk, it is recommended that you do not drink more than the HSE low risk weekly guidelines. Remember that these are not targets.  

If you do decide to have a drink after completing your month of sobriety, remember that your tolerance to alcohol can drop so you may feel the effects of alcohol quicker.